A PhD is also offered to students with a MURP degree or equivalent. The PhD offers advanced students the opportunity to specialize in one of the sub-fields of planning. PhD students are expected to take a minimum of 15 credit hours beyond the MURP degree, pass a comprehensive exam and prepare and defend a dissertation. Students without a master's in planning may be required to take additional courses from the MURP curriculum.
The doctoral program provides training in advanced research in urban and regional planning. Graduates are expected to pursue academic appointments at institutions of higher education and to achieve higher levels of professional practice in the public and private sectors.